Texas Family Car of the Year is the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica

The Chrysler Pacifica has won many awards, and its latest honor comes from the Texas Auto Writers Association. It was named the 2019 model the “Family Car of Texas” and the “Minivan of Texas” at its annual Texas Auto Roundup. It’s the fourth year that the Pacifica has earned these TAWA honors.

The Chrysler Pacifica adds even more titles and awards to its impressive collection. That assortment of prizes includes two separate “Family Car of Texas” titles from the Texas Automotive Writers Association (TAWA). Now, Chrysler is adding a third “Family Car of Texas” title to Pacifica’s lineup of awards, as the minivan received the honor for the third year in a row at the 2018 Texas Auto Roundup.

“The Chrysler Pacifica continues to impress our members with its combination of family-friendly features, technology, and versatility,” said Michael Marrs, president of TAWA and co-host of the “In Wheel Time” radio show in Houston. The event, which is held at the Eagle Canyon Raceway in Decatur, Texas. Forty-nine TAWA journalists drove 46 vehicles for two days. Most of those journalists found the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica to be the best family vehicle featured at the event.

“The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica won our Family Car of Texas award by an overwhelming majority vote,” said Michael Marrs, President of TAWA. “For the third year in a row, our members were impressed with Pacifica’s combination of technology, styling, functionality, versatility and family-friendly features.”

The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica comes available in six trim levels; the L, LX, Touring Plus, Touring L, Touring L Plus, and the Limited. The standard 3.6-liter V6 paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Pacifica generates 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque and earns an EPA-estimated 28 mpg on the highway.

The 2019 Pacifica has organizational tools such as the available second-row and third-row Stow ‘n Go seats, in-floor storage bins in the second row which is also available. The rear grocery bag hooks are there to help keep the cabin clutter-free. The available Blu-ray and DVD Entertainment System featuring seatback video screens and three-channel wireless headphones are crucial to successful road trips.

That wasn’t the only honor that the latest Pacifica received during the Texas-based event. The Texas Automotive Writers Association also named the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica the “Minivan of Texas.” It’s another title that it has repeatedly earned in the past few years.

With the introduction of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid model, Chrysler’s signature minivan was in the running for another of TAWA’s awards: the title of “Green Vehicle of Texas.” With a total highway fuel economy score of 84 MPGe and all of the same significant amenities featured in Pacifica’s standard model, the Pacifica Hybrid quickly obtained this title, too. Although everything is supposedly bigger in Texas, it would appear that automotive enthusiasts in the Lone Star State have fallen for a minivan.

The advanced security and safety systems add to the appeal of the Pacifica. Drivers will have more confidence navigating the minivan thanks to the standard driver assist technologies of Blind Spot and Cross Path Detection and ParkSense Rear Park Assist with Stop and the ParkView Rear Back-Up Camera. Standard Remote Keyless Entry and Keyless Go systems offer convenience and security.

Chrysler Brand TAWA Auto Roundup Awards:

  • 2018 Chrysler Pacifica – Family Car of Texas
  • 2018 Chrysler Pacifica – Minivan of Texas
  • 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid – Green Vehicle of Texas

About the Texas Auto Roundup

TAWA hosted the Texas Auto Roundup and sponsored by the Steel Market Development Institute, Wieck, and Polaris Slingshot. It is held annually to allow dozens of journalists to evaluate the cars, CUVs and SUVs sold in Texas. The Texas Auto Writers Association hosts the event and hands out a variety of awards every spring, including the prestigious Car of Texas, Family Car of Texas and Performance Car of Texas.

About TAWA

TAWA is one of the most well-respected automotive press organizations. Its mission is to promote accuracy and quality in automotive journalism and distribute information about the industry through print, broadcast media, and online. TAWA has two driving events every year — the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall. The members in the media enjoy driving and evaluating the new vehicles competing for the coveted Car of Texas or Truck of Texas.

You can search the inventory of Chrysler Pacifica’s at Miami Lakes Automall. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you.

Photo Credit: redriverdodge.com

Chrysler’s Pacifica Minivan is a Game Changer and Here’s Why

Minivans may come attached with polarizing opinions until the sudden realization hits that you might need one for a growing family. With the Chrysler Pacifica, owners have long enjoyed the vehicle as a handy assistant for the daily family commute. Let’s take a look at what this favorite, in the plug-in form of a hybrid, can offer.  

Under the hood you’ll find a 3.5-liter V6 eHybrid engine with two electric motors mated to an eFlite Si-EVT transmission. These motors combine for 260 horsepower, with the switch between gas to electric almost entirely seamless. It’s also easy on the throttle and uses regenerative braking to help to charge the battery.   

Kids will fall in love with the inside with an entertainment center for the ages. Centered in the middle of the dashboard is the touchscreen, which holds all of the infotainment controls. It allows you to control several things such as entertainment, HVAC, and settings for the front passengers. It’s an all-in-one console for all of the tech available.

Just below are the controls for front and rear HVAC. Under the storage cubbies, you’ll find the rubber flooring helpful in preventing things from sliding around. The center console is big enough that it can hold things like a small diaper bag, iPads, cups, and toys.

The middle-row seating is comfortable enough even for adults but the real kicker is the touchscreens that are built into the seats with games pre-loaded for play. The third row seats three kids, or two adults, fairly comfortably. The storage behind the third row is a little deeper down than average, which allows you to pack items tightly and be able to carry plenty with the seats in use. Folding that row makes for a much larger surface. Fold all of the seating down and you have a makeshift panel van.

The Pacifica also rides like a luxury vehicle, making it smooth over bumps and easy-to-drive on the highway and in town. Chrysler claims 82 MPGe and 30 MPG highway, with EV Mode as an easy (and excellent) way to cruise around town. Other helpful features include parking assist and parallel parking assist, allowing the vehicle’s semi-autonomy the ability to park the van for you.

You can search the inventory of Chrysler Pacifica’s at Miami Lakes Automall. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you.

Photo Credit: RockyTopChryslerJeepDodge.com

 

Chrysler Partners with Disney and Pixar to Promote Toy Story 4 and the Pacifica

Toy Story 4 is around the corner, and Chrysler has partnered with the film to promote the movie and the Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid. It’s a match made in movie heaven, at least in the advertising world. Chrysler teamed up with Disney and Pixar to cross-hype the new Pacifica minivan and the movie in an online video promo.  

On the 30-second ad, spot stars gather all of the iconic characters that we’ve known from the Toy Story series. Including old favorites like Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear. The crossover advertisement works quite well since it brings nostalgia to either to those who watched it (the kids) or those who bought the tickets (the parents).

The characters from the movie are having a little dance party in the back of the Chrysler, and it comes complete with music and lights. During the commercial, many of the key interior features of the minivans are promoted, which include the built-in Stow ‘n Vac vacuum cleaner. Also included are two large screens behind the front seat headrests, and the second-row seats which can be seamlessly stowed under the floor at the press of a button.

The partnership is a no-brainer, as Disney supports the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid. The video shows off through the hijinx of Pixar’s animated toys, which equips the family-friendly vehicle with the U-Connect Theater that plays games, apps, and two 10-inch touch screens mounted on the back of the front seats. Also included are hands-free power sliding doors and an onboard vacuum cleaner and flat-fold rear seating for dance parties and grocery shopping.    

Across the board, new car buyers are leaning more towards crossovers and SUV over sportier vehicles, particularly those with families and both the Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid have a lot going for them. The Pacifica Hybrid is has a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine paired to two electric motors and a CVT transmission. The vehicles all-electric range of 33 miles and an EPA fuel economy rating of 84 MPGe.   

When the teaser dropped it consisted of an animated spork having a mini freak out but the trailer has a more wistful tone. The new characters in the movie are voiced by comedy duo Key and Peele which make Buzz Lightyear “your mom” jokes. When the final scene of the movie airs it will presumably follow in the footsteps of previous films and will walk a line between the emotional and comedic side.

CHRYSLER’S PROMOTION CAMPAIGN:

The toys are back in movie theaters (June 21, 2019) and what better way than to kick it off with a few friends such as Alaska Airlines, Babybel®, Chevrolet and The Laughing Cow® to join the party. Chrysler is getting the party started with a new television commercial that spotlights the Chrysler Pacifica and a few characters that we’ve seen before. The Chrysler Pacifica is the most clever minivan in its class with exclusive-to-the-segment attribution such as Stow ‘n Go seating, hands-free power sliding doors, and Uconnect Theater with two 10-inch touchscreens. The Pacifica is America’s first hybrid minivan, and it delivers an all-electric range of 32 miles and driving range of 520 miles, providing a no-compromise vehicle when it comes to efficiency and comfort.

You can search the inventory of Chrysler Pacifica’s at Miami Lakes Automall. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you.

Photo Credit: youtube.com

 

FCA’S New Technology Ecosystem Is In Collaboration with Google and Samsung

 

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) N.V. announced on April 30th, 2019 that they will enhance the connected life of FCA vehicles globally with the delivery of a new “ecosystem.” The latest on- and off-board systems are set to distribute faster, more suitable and fully integrated connected experience for customers and their vehicles in more than 150 countries. Off-board, the Uconnect services will use a new cloud-based platform from HARMAN, a Samsung company, which will power connectivity and deliver a full array of services.

The system Off-board will promptly and securely manage in-vehicle and additional data using the architecture that is based on the HARMAN Ignite cloud-based platform. The system will deliver users an enhanced experience that will assist owners by predicting maintenance needs, finding charging stations, live customer-care assistance at the push of a button, locating fuel and receiving traffic prompts. They will also receive over-the-air (OTA) software updates which ensure owners the benefit from new capabilities and the latest software applications.     

“HARMAN Ignite and our award-winning OTA are essential ingredients of the future of connected cars, and we are thrilled to partner with FCA on building their global ecosystem. With these new technologies, HARMAN and Samsung offer a whole new level of customized and personalized services benefitting OEMs like FCA, consumers, and enterprises in the growing car share industry in an unprecedented way,” said Dinesh Paliwal, President and CEO HARMAN.  

The global platform offers the owners 4G network connectivity and it supports the evolution to 5G, it’s approved for all regions and will integrate with any service provider around the world. The off-board system also can interact with future smart cities’ infrastructure, as well as household devices via Samsung’s “Smart Things” platform. Vehicle owners are not the only ones who will benefit from the features that are delivered through the cloud-based connectivity; fleet operators and service providers will enjoy also.        

Onboard, which is the new system, will be powered by Android the natural app-based environment that supplies fresh content via OTA updates, fast interaction and seamless wireless integration with the customer’s mobile devices. The system will offer owners continuous innovation and will feature updates through a built-in cellular network. Onboard allows for capabilities in autonomous driving initiatives, electrification, and connected services.    

The ecosystem will provide an optimal technical environment for FCA electrified vehicles, and applications included will be remote battery management, smart EV trip navigator and vehicle-to-grid services. It will support the FCA Mobility Services portfolio, which contains the usage-based vehicle insurance, a peer-to-peer car sharing solutions, such as the U-Go system which was recently launched by Leasys in Europe and short-, medium- and long-term vehicle rental. The fundamental principals of the system will start to show up in phases across the globe during the second half of 2019, and the new FCA vehicles sold will be plugged in by the year 2022.

“By selecting industry leaders such as Samsung and Google, we are making efficient and responsible utilization of capital to provide advanced technological solutions to our customers worldwide,” said Harald Wester, Chief Technical Officer, FCA. “In collaboration with HARMAN – Samsung, and Google, we have developed a flexible, easy-to-use and connected ‘ecosystem’ that not only deploys today’s technology but is also ready to integrate upcoming innovations.”

ABOUT UCONNECT:

UCONNECT launched in 2003 and is the award-winning connected vehicle platform that is built into the FCA vehicles which are FIAT, Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, and RAM. It delivers advanced connectivity, navigation, communication services, and entertainment. They are as easy to use as they are powerful and the bonus is that it keeps customers focused on the road as well.

ABOUT FCA N.V.

FCA is a global automaker that engineers, manufactures, designs and sells vehicles with an exciting portfolio which include Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Ram, and Maserati. It sells its parts and services under the Mopar name and it operates in the components and production system sector under the Comau and Teksid brands. FCA has employed over 200,000 people around the world.   

You can search the inventory of FCA vehicles at Miami Lakes Automall. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you.

Photo Credit: driving.ca

Waymo’s Self-Driving Car Program Adds a Plant in Detroit, Michigan

An additional location has been chosen for Waymo’s self-driving car project, and the final assembly will be in Detroit. Once known as Google’s self-driving car project, now one of the foremost leaders in pushing to develop the autonomous vehicle, Waymo had previously said that it was scouting locations in southeast Michigan. But they didn’t name a specific city, until now.

Jon Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, revealed via a blog post that Detroit was the company’s choice. “Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve found the perfect facility in Detroit. We will partner with American Axle & Manufacturing to repurpose an existing facility, bringing a workforce back to an area where jobs in the automotive industry were recently lost,” according to the post.

The new building is set to create over 100 jobs and could expand to 400 jobs in the area with an investment of $13.6 million. Waymo has requested an $8 million grant from Michigan Business Development Program. They will use an existing facility on the American Axle and Manufacturing campus on Holbrooke where American Axle has its headquarters, Technology Development Center and the Detroit Business office.

The location in question was being used as a sequencing center for local parts supplier, and according to the company, American Axle recently moved back into the facility with business operations in the central portion of the building. The Vice President of American Axle, Chris Son, said the partnership would benefit the companies immensely. “We are excited to partner with Waymo and be a part of bringing future automotive technology to our Detroit Campus,” said Son to freep.com.

Waymo’s announcement comes after GM’s decision to pull back from the two factories that already are in the state. GM will stop manufacturing at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant early January 2020, which builds the electric Chevy Volt vehicle. But they are still planning on making the production versions of the self-driving Cruise car at the Orion Assembly Plant in Michigan.  

Although there has been no set date, there is speculation that General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, could be in play. If it goes through, it will offer more than 200,000 square feet that Waymo is looking for. But there is still competition between Waymo’s self-driving vehicle development and GM’s Cruise unit.

Waymo’s project is considered as the mass production of L4 autonomous vehicles. According to NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), Level 5 is high automation, one step below full automation. Under certain conditions, the vehicle can manage all driving functions.  

The driver may have the option to have full control of the vehicle. General Motors has produced a Level 4 Chevy Bolts for test purposes at its Orion Assembly Plant. Although it’s been testing there hasn’t been a lot of news on it.

FCA PLANS:

This is the second announcement this year concerning auto manufacturing in the Detroit area. In February, Fiat Chrysler announced a $4.5 billion expansion in Wayne and Macomb counties. As of now, that amount has tripled. Included in the plan is the new Jeep plant at the company’s Mack Avenue Engine factory and the expansion of the Jefferson North Assembly Plant.    

As of now, that deal is still pending in the City of Detroit assembling 200 acres to complete FCA’s needed footprint. The deadline to complete is under the city’s agreement with FCA is this week. Earlier this month, the city was still negotiating the last piece of property needed by the Moroun family. The family owns 80-acre former Budd plant site near Charlevoix and Conner on the east side.

This isn’t the first lease that the Crown’s rent to Chrysler which is used as a parking lot for new vehicles produced at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant. Inside the assembly plant, in a separate shop, workers install self-driving hardware for autonomous vehicles that are being tested by GM Cruise, the automaker’s San Francisco-based autonomous-vehicle unit. Both GM and Ford Motor Co have announced that they will build autonomous vehicles in the Michigan factories.

You can search the inventory of Chrysler’s at Miami Lakes Automall. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you.

Photo Credit: autoblog.com